I really don’t care too much about videogame manuals anymore. I just don’t read them. Of course, last night while trying to play Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, I absolutely had to read the manual just to get past the “Push + To Play” screen. I flipped open the white case and got out the book. As usual, it was all in black and white. It was probably as chintzy as it could be while still being included. This has been the norm with most non-Nintendo Wii games.
If there’s one thing about the PlayStation 3’s status as a high-end videogame machine that Sony has taken to heart, it’s the packaging of the games. Both Ratchet and Uncharted contain a full color instruction manual, and while I just don’t look at them that often, it’s a noticeable inclusion. That doesn’t excuse $60 new games, though. That was also something that struck me today when I picked up No More Heroes. $52.99 including tax seemed awfully reasonable having just paid roughly the same for a used copy of Ratchet and the $63.59 for Uncharted.
Oh yeah, back to Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. It’s got this great cinematic opening sequence, for a Sonic game anyway. I get to the title screen, press the requisite + button and… nothing. The game went into its demo/attract mode and I’m sitting there dumbfounded. I had my oldest swap it with Mario Strikers Charged thinking something was wrong with the game. Strikers worked fine. Then I had him get me a different Wii remote. Hey, stranger things have happened in PC games causing the mouse not to work, etc. No change in Sonic Riders at all. Still can’t get the game to start.
By this time I’m considering calling up the Sega rep and asking WTF is up? No way they shipped this game without controls functioning. I would’ve at least seen something online about that by now anyway, right? Then it hit me… I told Calvin to take out all the Wavebird remote sensors from the Wii’s Gamecube controller ports. Bingo. Suddenly I’m in control with the Wii remote.
In their infinite wisdom, Sega’s developers default the game to the Gamecube controls if there’s one plugged in. Hey guys, it’s got Wii written on the friggin’ box! I’m not going to expect it to default to Gamecube controls unless I specifically make it do that in the options. Fortunately for me, I recalled out of thin air that this game was going to support the Wii remote, the Classic Controller and Gamecube controllers. Imagine some other less-informed family sitting down to play and not being able to get the game started. Good job, Sega. Ugh. I looked in the manual and sure enough, it’s confirmed in there in small print near the controls section. I guess I should pull those manuals out more often? Then again, as ugly as they usually are, can you blame me for not looking there first? *sigh*
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